If you've known me in real life for a few years, then you know that I have clear skin. Or rather, had. There are many things that I find wrong with myself, as most people do, but one thing I was always proud of was my skin. Other than the random minor, one or two pimples I would get during extreme stress and/or the time of the month, I never had a problem with acne.
However, when I dove into this job of working unstable, stressful hours, having to deal with time zones and dry airplane air, my skin freaked out. By September of 2016, I had acne all over my chin and my forehead. However, as available flying ceased, my skin slowly relaxed to normal, and resumed usual clear-ness. Until now. Now that it is once again the summer, I have been flying a lot, and my skin is once again going haywire. In April, I had a trip to San Diego / San Francisco, and I had an allergic reaction to something. I don't know if it was just the pollution in the air, or pollen flying around in the Springtime, but my skin became blotchy and painful. I removed all my make up, and flew the rest of the trip without any on. After the trip, my skin began breaking out to the point that my friends noticed and asked me if I was okay, which was obviously a great ego booster.
As hard as it was, I forced myself to not wear any make up unless it was for something I deemed "important", like a date, photoshoot, or special outting. I know, I definitely had my priorities in order, but hey, a girl can choose who she wants to look pretty for. It took me a while, but I think I have finally found a system that works for my skin to keep me almost break-out free.
Before I continue on about my acne routine, I would like to remind you that this is what worked for me. I am not a dermatologist, nor do I have any sort of certification or degree that makes me a reliable source for advice on skincare. There are other products and systems that may work for you, and this post is simply for your reference. For everyone out there who feels like my regime is very "extra", that's fine. I know it can sound vain, but my skin is something important to me. I know acne doesn't define me, but that doesn't change the fact that I would rather have clear(er) skin. My skin type is dry to dehydrated, and depending on where I am in the world, I can have combination skin (oily T-zone).
Something that I think really helped my skin is steaming it. This probably sounds silly and insane to some of you, but I use my steam iron to steam my face every day. Yes, it does get HOT, but that's why I do not apply my steam iron directly to my face. I hold it away from my face and keep it at a distance that is comfortable for me. After steaming my face, I wipe it down with a cotton pad, and do one more round before beginning my routine. I like doing this both day and night, but let's be honest: sometimes, I only have time to do this at night. This is my first step after make-up removal, if applicable. **I will not talk about my make-up removal routine on this post, as that in itself can be a completely separate post**
In the morning, right after steaming my face, I like to apply on a Vitamin C serum. I have been using this one by Namskara, which I got from Amazon for a little under $14.50
Vitamin C, to my knowledge, is good for removing scars, which I have a lot of. I have always been one to scar easily, and it really sucks when your skin is pretty much clear, save for the scars of the single pimple you had a few weeks ago. I have noticed that this Vitamin C serum has not only been helping me out in keeping the scarring to a minimal, but it has also helped in brightening up my skin in general, which is always a plus. This specific product is currently unavailable, but if you click the link I provided, there are a lot of other alternatives offered.
Because the Vitamin C serum is so light, it is easily absorbed into the skin, especially after steaming it. I wait a couple minutes, and I apply on a bit of OTC acne cream. I simply got the one from CVS, because it was the most convenient for me.
I don't really have much to say about this acne cream in general, simply since this was my first time trying a specific acne treatment. I was forewarned about it being drying, but I haven't noticed that it was particularly devastatingly drying. I did notice that my acne did go down significantly after the first night I applied this treatment, but from what I have heard, most generic spot treatments will work "miracles" in a similar way.
In the day time, I do want to keep my routine simpler and quicker, as I can be in a rush to start the day. Plus, I prefer having less product on my face throughout the day, especially IF I have to put on make up. I will do a make up routine later on, because I definitely did have to figure out what kind of products were working for my face, and which ones weren't. So expect that in the future~ Any how, after I let the acne spot treatment sink in, I do put on a good moisturizer. I have been going for this one from Fresh.
I actually got this as part of a value set from Sephora, and that set does not seem available anymore. However, this Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream is available in full size for $45 (I do not recommend spending $17 for the 0.5 oz), or in another value set for $68 ! Go check it out :) I prefer buying sets because I usually get a better value, and even if not a better value, I know I will be able to travel with the mini sizes I receive #FlightAttendantLife. I really love how light of a lotion it feels like, despite being very moisturizing and creamy. Iy's a strange texture that I don't really know how to describe. When you first put it on, it feels rather rich, but it soaks into your skin so easily! Plus, it's never too early to try and stop wrinkling :)
At night, I like to wash my face off and get rid of all the dust and crazy things that may have collected throughout the day.
I know that for many people, this Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash is a holy grail product, but for me, it is a little harsh to use on a daily basis. I will use this maybe twice a week, or if I put on make up that day. I have very sensitive skin, and it does sting a little too much for my liking for daily usage. How I use this product is I first wet my face with warm water, and I would spread a small amount all over my face. I'll add a little bit more water to make it thicken a little and let it sit on my face like a mask. After about two minutes, the stinging starts and I feel the product sinking into my skin and cleansing my face. I will then go ahead and wash it off completely with cool water. I got this as a sample with a bunch of other Origins products, but the full size is available at Sephora for $26. There are other sizes and sets you can choose from, as well.*
On all other days where I am not using the Origins Checks and Balance, I use the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, which I got in a set with the Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. It is available at Sephora in the full size for $38.
I love how gentle this product is on my skin, though I must admit: I'm a slave to habit, and I enjoy having bubbles to play with. This face wash doesn't foam up as well as the Origins one, but it does leave my face feeling soft and very well taken care of. Another plus is that the faint scent is barely there, which is great for those of you who don't like smells.
If I put on make up, I feel like I need a bit of extra cleansing. I like using the Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel to get that extra scrub in to make sure my skin is perfectly ready for skin care and sleep.
This is a very gentle exfoliant, and makes such a huge difference. This doesn't sting or anything. I just put a pump on my hand and I rub it into my skin very gently. You'll be surprised how much dead skin starts rubbing away from your skin! It does sometimes leave your face with a bit of patches that seem kind of rough, which is just when your layer of dead skin did not fully get removed. You can either squirt just a little bit more on your hands to remove the rest of the dead skin, or use an exfoliating cotton pad to rub the spot with warm water until it has smoothed out and the rest of the dead skin has been dislodged from your face. I know that doesn't sound very appealing, but I really like the word "dislodge", so I decided to use it. Anyhow, this product is available at Sephora for $34.
After cleansing, I steam my face, so that my skincare can really penetrate my skin. If I have time, I may either put on a sheet mask, or use this charcoal peel mask.
This was a gift from a friend, so I have no idea where she got it from, but I know Boscia makes some bomb charcoal peel masks. I like this one because it does have brightening properties, and I really feel it pull out all the gunk from my face. It doesn't take too long to dry (which is plus, because I'm super duper impatient). I have seen a difference since I began throwing a charcoal peel mask into my routine, and my skin and pores have looked a lot better.
After removing the mask, I steam my face again and apply vitamin C and spot treatment as I did in the morning. All of these steps and face-steaming can leave my skin feeling a bit stripped and dry, so afterwards, I use my Belif Hungarian Water Essence.
It should probably come to you at no surprise that this, too, came in a travel size set, including an eye cream and the original aqua bomb. I absolutely love both of those products, but I ran out of them a while ago, and I haven't yet made the purchase. I was using a different essence at the time, and didn't think to start using this water essence until recently, and I absolutely love it. A lot of people probably think that because it is the summer, it will either be very humid, or our sweat will moisturize our skin (disgusting), but that's not quite true. While we may not be braving the dry, cold winds of Autumn and Winter, we are still constantly dealing with air conditioners and dusty winds that actually cause your skin to be a lot dryer than you think. This water essence pretty much feels like it's throwing water into your face, and your skin just drinks it all up. I put a couple pumps into my palm, and splat it on my cheeks, forehead, and chin, and gently tap the product into the rest of my facial crevices with my finger tips. The full size is available at Sephora for $42. It is also available in travel size as part of the On-the-Go set, which is available for just $20!
After my skin has soaked up all the watery goodness from the essence, I slather on this Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins renewal face cream.
As you probably already guessed, I did get this with the Checks and Balance Frothy Face Wash. It is available at Sephora for full size at $43, or there are several value sets available including this cream. The full size comes in tub form.* What I love about this cream is that it leaves my skin feeling so supple and moisturized the morning after. It is really thick and can get a little sticky, but it's a small price to pay for the great results. My skin has definitely gotten a lot brighter since I began using this. On days where I know I am going to be on a plane, I will also a little bit in my cheeks and chin, which is where I tend to get very dry.
As you can all tell, basically my best weapon against acne is keeping clean and moisturized. I've been working hard to find ways to really lock in moisture into my skin, because I noticed that it's when my skin gets really dry when I start breaking out. According to certain sources, it is because your skin begins to secrete (bad) oils when it gets too dry, and these oils clog your pores and become acne. I don't know if that is true or not, but I have been working with my skin to find what products work best with it. Again, this is just acne skin care, so I did not go into things like regular sheet masks, eye creams, and make up. Those things will come in a later post, if you want to know more about my routines for that.
*Disclaimer: I am sometimes gifted products by PR, and may sometimes be compensated for mentioning certain products. However, this does not change my honest opinion. This is my skincare routine for your reference, and is not to be taken as a professional regimen, as everyone's skin is different.
I would love to hear about some products that you love, and how they are working for you! And in light of keeping this blog a positive blog: what is something about yourself that you are proud of? Whether it is as vain as something as "clear skin: or as cool as being double jointed, I'd love to know!
Until next time~